With the Easter Holidays upon us and the weather uncertain here are some fabulous ways to keep children and young people entertained!

1) April Fakes Day, March 29 – April 3, Oxford Botanic Garden, Oxford University Museum of Natural History, The Ashmolean, The Story Museum, The History Of Science Museum, The Bodleian, Pitt Rivers Museum, Uncomfortable Oxford, Ultimate Picture Palace. Join researcher Professor Patricia Kingori for a celebration of hoaxes, forgeries and fakes, where nothing is as it seems. https://www.torch.ox.ac.uk/event/april-fakes-day-2024

2) How to Train Your Dragon Trail, Blenheim Palace, Friday March 29 – Sunday April 14. To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Cressida Cowell’s incredibly popular How to Train Your Dragon book series, Adventure Play’s temporary trail will encourage children to explore the immersive interconnecting zones with secret chambers, clamber nets, tunnels, slides, rope bridges and more, to spot 10 dragons including Toothless Daydream, Skullion, Flamehuffer, and Raptortongue. http://www.blenheimpalace.com/adventure-play/

3) Northern Ballet’s Tortoise and the Hare, Oxford Playhouse, Fri 29 – Sat 30 March: When cheeky Hare won’t stop boasting about how fast he can run, thoughtful Tortoise decides it is time to join him in a race. The perfect introduction to live ballet and music, as a playful cast of characters re-tell this classic tale. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/tortoise-and-the-hare

Julie Nunès, Kaho Masumoto and Yu Wakizuka in Tortoise & the Hare. Photo Sophie Beth Jones

4) Eggs-plorer Trail, Harcourt Arboretum. March 29-April 29. 10am-5pm. Find out which birds have been laying their eggs with this fun family trail. Solve the puzzle and claim your prize. https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/event/eggs-plorer-trail

Arboretum Trail

5) Kaleidoscope, Pegasus Theatre, Saturday March 30. 10.30am & 12pm. Inspired by research into how a baby’s sense of sight develops and how they instinctively begin to categorise colour, watch as a multi-coloured Kaleidoscope is brought to life for you and your baby. https://pegasustheatre.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows/873654216

Kaleidoscope by Zoe Manders

6) The Theatre Chipping Norton’s Easter Trail, Chipping Norton, March 30 – April 13. Follow the Trail around town to find the different kinds of eggs, then complete your Easter Trail sheet and come to the box office to collect your prize! https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/take-part/easter-trail\

7) The Totally Chaotic History Museum Trail: Ancient Egyptians, Pitt Rivers Museum, April 1-14. 10am-5pm To celebrate hit historian Greg Jenner’s new book ‘Totally Chaotic History: Ancient History Gets Unruly’, discover intriguing objects, meet gods and goddesses; create your own hieroglyph; pretend to be a Pharaoh, and plan what you’ll take to the afterlife. Plus take part in the Object Handling workshop on April 3-5 and Amulet Making on April 3-4 from 1-4pm. https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/event/the-totally-chaotic-history-museum-trail-ancient-egyptians

8) Modern Art Oxford workshops: Make Play, April 2 & 9 A sensory creative space for children aged between 6 months and 5 years, Drawing on materials and themes within the current exhibition Frieda Toranzo Jaeger: A future in the light of darkness, to explore with their parent and/or carer. Each session offers different experimental activities. https://www.modernartoxford.org.uk/whats-on/make-play-spring

Make Play

9) Circus Events, The Beacon, Wantage, April 2-11. Enjoy Circus Arts and Crafts on Tuesday 2 April, 10-11.30am. Circus Skills with Clown Kelsey on Wednesday 3 April at 10-11am teaching children aged 5+ some awesome circus tricks. Circus Themed Monkey Mayhem on Thursday 4 April and Monday 8 April at 9.30-11.30am for under 5s, plus a bouncy castle, ball pit and lots of toys! Cartoon Circus Live, Thursday 11 April at 1.30pm. Featuring some of Britain’s funniest clowns, traditional slapstick comedy, illusions, the amazing girl in the spinning bottle, magic, a huge giant dancing bear, cartoon characters, an acrobatic human slinky, puppets, prizes and surprises. There is even a performing piranha! https://www.beaconwantage.co.uk/whats-on/


10) Musical Youth Company of Oxford, Me and My Girl, Oxford Playhouse. Wed 3 – Sat 6 April. 7+. READ ABOUT IT HERE A fresh take on this timeless classic; expect hilarious characters, witty one liners and marvellous music including Me and My Girl, The Sun Has Got His Hat On, Lambeth Walk and Leaning On A Lamp Post. A treat for musical comedy lovers. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/me-and-my-girl

Bill (Daniel Hayns) in MYCOs Me And My Girl

11) The Brick People, Friday April 5, The Theatre Chipping Norton Love LEGO? Join The Brick People who’ll be offering a wide range of LEGO related activities. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/the-brick-people

12) In The Dead Of The Night, Burton Taylor Studio. Sat 6 April. 3+. A thrilling, funny, and heart-warming story about an awesome girl called Lily who faces her fears and saves the day. Adapted from Arthur McBain’s internationally best selling book by award-winning Faceplant Theatrehttps://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/in-the-dead-of-the-night

In the dead of the Night

13) Fun and Foolery Workshop, Museum of Natural History, April 6. 2pm -3.30pm. Ages 10-14. – A special April Fools-themed workshop taking a creative look at museum specimens that aren’t quite what they seem. The workshop will include potentially messy fossil casting (lab coats provided). https://oumnh.web.ox.ac.uk/event/april-fun-and-foolery-workshop


14) The Museum of Marvellous Things, Didcot Cornerstone, Sunday April 7 at 1pm. Experience giant puppets, interactive storytelling, and live original music on Based on Kristina Stephenson’s picture book. http://www.cornerstone-arts.org/whats/museum-marvellous-things

15) Youth Lab: Devising Theatre, North Wall, 8 – 12 April 10am – 4pm. For ages 12 – 17. You’re invited to explore the entire process of putting a piece of theatre together. Create a new show and share it with friends and family at the end of the week. https://www.thenorthwall.com/whats-on/youthlab-devising-theatre/

Youth Lab

16) Easter Eggstravaganza, Museum of Natural History 8-9 April 8-9. 1pm-4pm. Learn about the many types of eggs from across the natural world and enjoy fun, family-friendly arts, crafts and specimen handling. Free, drop-in. https://www.oumnh.ox.ac.uk/event/easter-eggventure-family-trail

Easter Eggstravaganza

17) NW Inventors: Clowning, North Wall, April 8 – 10. 9am – 12pm For ages 8 – 11. Come and clown around this Easter. Develop your skills in the art of play and share your discoveries with friends and family at the end. https://www.thenorthwall.com/whats-on/nw-inventors-clowning/


18) Dogs Don’t Do Ballet, North Wall, 9 – 10 April 11am – 2pm – For ages 2 – 8. Based on the well-loved book by Anna Kemp, this critically-acclaimed puppetry show for families features Biff, who’s not like ordinary dogs. He likes moonlight. And music. And walking on his tiptoes. You see, Biff doesn’t think he’s a dog, Biff thinks he’s a ballerina… https://www.thenorthwall.com/whats-on/dogs-dont-do-ballet/ 

Dogs Don’t Do Ballet

19) The Three Bears, Pegasus Theatre, Tues 9 March, 11am & 2pm Bring your bears for an adventure in the woods, with original music, puppets and a tale you thought you knew. Every show is relaxed so join us for this friendly and fun theatre experience for children ages 6 and under and their grown-ups. https://pegasustheatre.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows/873653915

Three Bears

20) Story Museum courses for the Easter Holidays. April 9-11. For ages 8-12. Tuesday 9 April: Frivolous Feathers and Foolish Wings with professional puppeteer Lori Hopkins. Wednesday 10 April: Broomsticks and Batwings have a go at Quadball, inspired by the fictional sport played in the Harry Potter books by JK Rowling. Learn the basic of chasing, beating and seeking with the University of Oxford’s Quadball team off site. Thursday 11 April: Spaceships and UFOs – A fun clowning workshop with Four Eyed Theatre. https://www.storymuseum.org.uk/whats-on/more-flights-of-fancy

Story Museum by John Cairns

21) Lego Printing Family Fun, The Bodleian’s Weston Library. April 10-11, 10.30am-1.30pm. Create a personalized print on the Bodleian’s historic printing press using LEGO pieces Minimum age 4+, but under 4s can enjoy the ‘Toddleian’, a relaxed space for toddlers and their grown-ups to discover books and story-telling toys. Free – Drop-in. https://visit.bodleian.ox.ac.uk/event/apr24/lego-family-fun

Lego family fun

22) Decorate Your Own Bug House, Didcot Cornerstone, Wednesday April 10 at 11am for a crafty session without the mess at home. Unleash your inner bug lover and create your own bug house with provided materials. http://www.cornerstone-arts.org/classes-workshops/decorate-your-own-bug-house

Decorate Your Own Bughouse

23) Super Spring Family Day, Harcourt Arboretum, April 10, 11am-4pm. A day of seasonal activities where you can find out about what the trees, plants and animals are doing in Spring. There will be trails, tours and nature crafts for all ages. https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/event/super-spring-family-day

Spring Fair. Arboretum

24) Choogh Choogh, Thursday April 11, The Theatre Chipping Norton – Classical Indian dance, contemporary movement, theatre and play, in this world full of colour, invention, and flow. This show is an exploration of just how much we can see and imagine, together, as the train chooghs chooghs on. https://www.chippingnortontheatre.com/events/choogh-choogh

Choogh Choogh

25) There Was An Old Lady Swallowed A Fly, Didcot Cornerstone, Friday April 12 at 2.30pm. Help aliens get home with the greatest story in the universe, featuring live action, animation, and puppetry. A magical re-telling of the beloved nursery rhyme. http://www.cornerstone-arts.org/whats/there-was-old-lady-who-swallowed-fly

There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed A Fly

26) Claytime, Sat April 13, Burton Taylor Studio, ages 3-6. A play with clay from the award-winning Indefinite Articles who take you to a world of fabulous forms, amazing animals and morphing monsters. Explore clay through clowning followed by an improvised play based on the young audience’s suggestions. https://www.oxfordplayhouse.com/events/claytime

Indefinite Articles Claytime

27) Family Dance Party, Pegasus Theatre, Sat 13 March 11am & 2pm (Workshops 10.30am  & 1.30pm). Dancin’ Oxford is back and fresher, funkier and dancier than ever! With a magical mix of music played live by a DJ, fun lighting and bubbles and games galore, it’s time put on your dancing shoes, bring your little ones, and prepare to have the best disco ever! And join the 45-mins family workshop before the disco, led and facilitated by the theatre’s dance artists & DJ team! https://pegasustheatre.ticketsolve.com/ticketbooth/shows/873655119

28) Ashmolean Adventure, March 29 – April 14. 10am – 5pm This fun digital guide offers an interactive exploration of highlights from the Museum’s collections through a variety of multimedia activities. Best experienced as a family or with friends. Play games and quizzes, enjoy sounds and stories and try out your design and drawing skills. https://www.ashmolean.org/adventure

Ashmolean Adventure

29) Eggstraordinary Easter Eggventure Family Trail, Pitt Rivers Museum, until April 14. 10am-5pm. Eggsplore the museum with this eggciting family trail. Spot the eggs around the museum and check out the eggcellent objects on display. This trail joins up with the Natural History Museum next door. Free, Drop-in event. https://www.prm.ox.ac.uk/event/eggstraordinary-easter-eggventure

Eggstraordinary Egg Hunt

30) Presenting… 200 Years of Megalosaurus, Museum of Natural History, until April 14. On February 20, 1824, Oxford University professor William Buckland stood before a room full of scientists and presented the fossilized bones of a huge predatory reptile called Megalosaurus, the very first dinosaur to be given a name. Check out the Megalosaurus objects on display. https://www.oumnh.ox.ac.uk/event/presenting…-200-years-of-megalosaurus

Presenting Megalosaurus

31) Garden Eye-Spy Trail, Oxford Botanic Gardens. Look and find while you explore these glorious gardens. A fun trail for young children. https://www.obga.ox.ac.uk/files/oxfordbotanicgardenlookandfindtrail-ilovepdf-compressed1pdf

Oxford Botanic Garden

32) Young Creatives Socials. Join Modern Art Oxford’s free Thursday evening for ages 16-18. Meet young people in the city, work with professional artists, and develop their creativity in a fun and relaxed environment. No previous art experience necessary. From 4pm-6pm https://www.modernartoxford.org.uk/whats-on/young-creatives-socials-spring-2024

Young Creatives Socials

33) HISTORY OF SCIENCE MUSEUM -Enjoy props and costumes from the BBC HBO series His Dark Materials in the very museum that inspired the author, Philip Pullman and explore a brand-new display of the museum’s founding collection of scientific instruments gifted by Lewis Evans exactly 100 years ago. Free. https://hsm.ox.ac.uk/lyras-worlds?utm_source=homepage&utm_medium=banner&utm_campaign=23HSMDisplayLyrasWorlds?utm_id=23HSMDisplayLyrasWorlds

Lyra’s Alethiometer at the History of Scie nce Museum (c) Ian Wallman for the HSM